Mother's Day

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Mother's Day is a special day to honor our mothers all over the world. This day is meant for celebrating motherhood and thanking mothers. There is atradition of wearing roses and carnations on this day.The first Mother's Day was observed on May 10, 1908, in a church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The celebrations involved a church service in honour of Mrs. Anna Reese Jarvis in Grafton, West Virginia, and in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 10, 1908. The subsequent campaign to recognize Mother's Day was financed by clothing merchant John Wanamaker. As the custom of Mother's Day spread, the emphasis shifted from the pacifism and reform movements to a general appreciation of mothers. The first official recognition of the holiday was by West Virginia in 1910. A proclamation designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day was signed by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson on May 14, 1914.

In ancient Greece a spring festival was celebrated honouring Rhea, wife of Cronus and mother of the gods and goddesses. Similarly in Rome, in 250 BC, was celebrated a festival (Hilaria) dedicated to the worship of Cybele, another mother goddess. It was a three-day long festival observed from March 15 to 18. These are believed to be precursors of the contemporary Mother's Day festival. In England, in the early 17th century, 'Mothering Day' or Mid-Lent Sunday was observed on the fourth Sunday in Lent. It is believed this was a modification of the earlier festival of Cybele, to worship Mary, Christ's Mother.

More About Mother's Day

On this day People came to make offerings at the church. Young men and women who worked far from home returned home on this day, bearing gifts like the 'mothering cake' for their mothers. In the northern parts of England, carlings, a kind of pancake was served due to which Mothering Sunday is also called Carling Sunday. The simnel cake, rich with fruits was a kind of mothering cake served on this day. The cake had to be kept until Easter. A dish called Furmety was also served on mothering Sunday. It was made out of wheat, milk, sugar and spices.

The governor of West Virginia, in 1910, issued the first proclamation declaring Mother's Day a holiday. By 1911 every state of USA was observing Mother's Day. Other countries soon followed suit: Mexico, Canada, China, Japan, South America and Africa. The Mother's Day International Association was created, on December 12, 1912, to spread the concept and practice of observing Mother's Day.

In the United States, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first proclamation making Mother's Day an official national holiday in 1914. The President, his Cabinet, members of Congress, and all officials of the federal government wore a white carnation on this day.

The Congress had already passed a Joint Resolution on May 8, 1914, designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day. The U.S. flag was to be displayed on government buildings and at people's homes "as a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country."